Jan 6, 2009

Stanard School

Photo: Olena Sullivan, Photolena

"I loved that school. It was a wonderful place to be. There were all wood floors and windows in every room. Our principal—Mrs. Haggerty used to bring in dahlias and put them in pitchers on the landing by the stairs."

--Memories of Eleanor Capko, Stanard Student from 1930-1936, and life-long resident of East 52nd Street.

Located near East 55th Street and St. Clair Avenue, Stanard School was designated a Cleveland Historical Landmark prior to its 2008 deconstruction. [1] Thousands of neighborhood kids spent their elementary years in the two majestic red brick buildings, including the great-grandmother of APOC partner Aaron Gogolin. Although not confirmed, Stanard School is rumored to be the birth place of the popular children's game, four-square. The building named after Captain B.A. Stanard stood majestically in the St. Clair Superior Neighborhood for 123 years. A Piece of Cleveland documented the deconstruction with this video. Also, see this post on the Recycling of Stanard.

The original structure was built by renowned architect John Eisenmann in 1885.[2] Eisenmann studied landscape design and engineering before he served as professor of engineering at Case School of Applied Science. From 1883-1889, he was the supervising architect for the Cleveland Board of Education and built dozens of school buildings, residences and commercial buildings. His best known building is the Arcade on Euclid Avenue (1882-90) which he designed with architect George Smith.[3] The Arcade is listed on the National Register of Historic Places Eisenmann also designed the flag for the State of Ohio. [4]

Stanard School was expanded with an annex designed by Architect William H. Dunn in 1900. [5] He was superintendant of school buildings from 1884 to 1894 [2] and also designed the beautiful St. Stanislaus Church in the Slavic Village neighborhood among many other religious buildings.

In 1904, Cleveland Schools' Superintendent of Buildings, Frank Seymour Barnum, eliminated all wood as material in school interiors in new school buildings. He required reinforced concrete floors and replaced wooden floors, wainscoting, baseboards and stairs with iron or other materials.[6] Because Stanard School was built 15 years prior to Barnum's regulations, the amount and type of wood it contained is a rarity in Cleveland’s school buildings.

Photo: Olena Sullivan, Photolena

Stanard School was designed for the 3R’s, and by the 1960s, the building couldn’t house the extracurriculars modern educators, students and parents were demanding. According to a 1961 Cleveland Board of Education Report, Stanard School “needs new gym urgently-has no Assembly Room or Gymnasium except a classroom”. It would have cost $359,300 to update the school.[7]

On June 3rd, 1964, the school was hit by lightening and 350 students were evacuated from the building when the chimney fell. Kind neighbors invited whole classes into their homes so that the children were protected from the rain storm. The school was closed shortly after the incident. [8]

The buildings sat empty for about 35 years and fell into such disrepair that they could not be saved. In 2008, the City of Cleveland decided to tear down the structures and create Cleveland’s first zoned urban farm. As a part of the effort to recycle as much of the historic buildings as possible, APOC was asked to recover as much material as possible, including maple flooring APOC has upcycled into cutting boards.

To view some of the many products created from this building's materials, click here.

To read more about the Recycling of Stanard School, click here.



1] Cleveland Landmarks Commission

2] Cleveland Landmarks Commission, Index of Architects


3] Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 25 (1966), 281-91

4] Ohio History Central, an Online Encyclopedia of Ohio History.


5] Data Regarding Various School Buildings, City School District of the City of

Cleveland, July 1, 1936. Cleveland Public Library, Public Administration Library files.

6] Cleveland Historic Schools, Feasibility Study, Final Report. Cleveland Restoration Society, 5/26/2000.

7] Cleveland Board of Education School Housing Report, 1961. Cleveland Public Library, Public Administration Library Files

8] Cleveland Press, June 3, 1954,




  1. I stumbled upon your site while searching for info about the new Stanard Farm. I realized that I too had recycled a bit of this old school. I salvaged some brick last year to build a fire pit so I could do a Yucatan-style pig roast. I documented it here: http://spicehound.blogspot.com/2008/11/puerco-pibil.html I love what you are doing. Keep up the good work.

  2. While it saddens me to see historic buildings demolished, I love that you guys create beauty from the destruction and preserve the history by reclaiming the pieces.